Thursday, November 29, 2007

The self-loathing Brits who think teddy bear teacher deserves her fate

Updated for sentence: Gillian was spared the lashes – those Sharia judges are just big softies at heart. But 15 days in prison, and I'm guessing that won't be a room with cable. Bet she was glad of the deportation order though.

So it's just the two weeks in the roach pit, then bundled out of the country pursued by a lynch mob to spend the rest of her life wondering if some whackjob is going to catch up with her and give her the Theo van Gogh treatment.

Radical Islam: What's not to like?

Other than among Islamic hardliners, you would think that the plight of British teacher Gillian Gibbons, who faces jail and 40 lashes in Sudan for allowing her pupils to name a teddy bear Mohammed, would elicit near-universal sympathy.

Not so, judging by the comments of a sizable minority of commenters on the BBC's website, who appear to think that Mrs Gibbons deserves everything she gets. This is just a selection of their views (brackets are mine):

I am a British woman who has lived in an Asia country myself and I done my homework (hope she wasn't a teacher too). I checked the local laws and ensured I had a full understanding of the culture do's and don’ts. We always preach that when foreigners come to Britain they need to do their homework, learn our culture and abide by our laws. I think that if this woman is not charged then this is a clear case of double standards.
Louise, Edinburgh

If we expect people living or working in the UK to abide by our laws, British citizens working abroad should be expected to abide by the laws of the country they work in. Not only has the teacher shown her ignorance of other faiths but also a startling level of insensitivity.
Graeme, Fife (Scotland)

I have worked in many parts of the World
. When working in a particular country it is imperative that you comply with and respect the rules of that country. This lady clearly did not comply and respect such rules and must suffer the consequences.
Mike Townend, United Kingdom

Any teacher who works today would know that this isn't a PC thing to do - more fool her - she has got exactly what she deserves - It isn't headline news - people are stupid every day (those Sharia courts! It's political correctness gone mad!).
Mary, Wolverhampton

Why do we think that anyone coming to the UK must abide by our rules and regulations, but that the same does not apply to us when we are abroad? She is in an Islamic country, and should have made herself aware of the political and religious sensibilities before going. I do not know a great deal about Islam (you don't say!), but would have guessed that naming a teddy after the prophet would cause offence. She is a teacher, and should know better.
Suzanne Jones, Liverpool

Her fault. She brought this upon herself!
George Cowley, Columbia, SC

The notion that "we expect them to abide by our laws, so we should abide by theirs" is worryingly prevalent, and an example of how the doctrines of multiculturalism and moral equivalence have corrupted the minds of many in the West. Of course we expect foreign visitors to comply with our laws – but our laws don't decree that a person should be flogged for giving the wrong name to a cuddly toy.

And there are plenty of other specious arguments on display in the comments. Some equate Mrs Gibbons' predicament with the offence taken by Christians over perceived slurs, and wheel out the tired claim that 'all religions are equally bad'. Predictably, one Brit brings up the killing of abortion clinic staff in the US, equating the actions of a few extremists with beliefs and laws observed by tens of millions of people.

Others suggest that Britain has no right to complain about Mrs Gibbons' treatment because of its actions in Iraq and Afghanistan, or claim that Westerners should not pass judgement on Islam because we 'don't understand' it. (And come to think of it, I haven't heard much on the subject from the Islam-admiring Archbishop of Canterbury.)

What's interesting is that while a few of the commenters who say they're Muslims are condemning Mrs Gibbons, or falling back on the 'Western foreign policy' excuse, the majority are either suggesting that she made a simple mistake, and should be treated leniently, or are condemning the Sudanese outright
– "Stop hijacking the religion!" pleads Adil in Singapore.

By contrast, virtually all of the comments attacking Mrs Gibbons, and making excuses for Islamic extremism, are from people living in Britain, with a few from the US and elsewhere in Europe, and who, judging by their names – Louise, Graeme, Mike, Mary, Suzanne, George
are natives of those countries, and very probably white.

The opinions on display
reflect the problems with, and attitudes to, radical Islam as a whole: a vociferous and violent minority (though apparently a sizable one) of extremists who shout down the moderates, and are supported by Westerners who so despise their own culture that they'll take the side of anyone who doesn't share our values, and who preferably seeks to subvert them.

It's no coincidence that several of the commenters say they've worked abroad, or claim to be 'widely travelled'. For many such people anything foreign, anything different, is by definition better. Any skin colour is better than white, any religion better than Christianity.

In the case of most of these people their guilt and self-loathing manifests itself as nothing worse than gloating over the misfortune of Westerners such as Mrs Gibbons. Others take things further, in extreme cases resorting to terrorism against their own people.

But worryingly for anyone who hopes for the downfall of repressive regimes, an awful lot of them end up working in their countries' foreign services, or for the UN and other international organisations obsessed with multiculturalism and conditioned to pursue appeasement.

And unfortunately for Mrs Gibbons, right now those people represent her best hope of freedom.

Update: Thanks to Charles at LGF for the fastest link ever.
I have a couple of recent posts I think you lizards will enjoy while you're here: the post referenced above, on Britain's Archbishop of Canterbury blaming the US for the world's problems while giving Muslims a free pass; and another on the BBC's insistance that five Muslims who hacked three Christians to death in Turkey did so not because of their religion, but because they were nationalists.

And you heard about the Red Cross giving lessons to gunmen in Gaza – but have you seen the terrorist first aid manual?

Update 2: Thanks also Atlas, and Rusty at The Jawa Report – check out his deeply offensive Photoshop. And the court report is here.

Update 3: LissaKay has left a great comment, contrasting the teddy-related outrage with the lack of reaction to The Golden Compass:

I see no rioting in the streets, or calls for the head of Philip Pullman, who has publicly stated "My books are about killing God" and that he was "trying to undermine the basis of Christian belief."


shr_nfr said...

Perhaps we could solve a fair amount of the problems in France, Britain, etc. if we were to revive the blasphemy laws on a reciprocal basis with people present on visas from Islamic countries that practice Sharia. If your country does not practice Sharia, no blasphemy. If it does, then we get the same rights as your country that issued the visa. I can hear the screams from the pc folks now. However, where are they at the present moment on the present event.

Anonymous said...

Where is the English spine and assuredness of being right that ruled an empire.

Worse yet what has happened to the Irish and the Scots.

Great Britain - bah
Little or no btitain.

Anonymous said...

Many of those condemning Ms Gibbons claim that Muslim visitors in the West are expected to abide by our laws and customs. Far from it: we are expected, no, compelled under the threat of hate-crime prosecution to respect theirs.

Politically-correct multi-culturalism has run amok.

Anonymous said...

First the cartoon rage, then the faked Koran in the toilet story ... now this.

Contrast with the Christian reaction to "The Golden Compass" which has largely been, "Great! This is an opportunity to initiate discussion about God, Christianity and the church!" I see no rioting in the streets, or calls for the head of Philip Pullman, who has publicly stated "My books are about killing God" and that he was "trying to undermine the basis of Christian belief."

Anonymous said...

This is utter bullsh*t! Being flogged for naming a teddy bear "Mohammed"? What's worse are the PC crowd and their sympathiser supporting such a crock of crap. Considering this is coming from the PC BBC does not surprise me.

This is INDEED a sad time for common sense and for us average joes that live in the West.

Mike said...

Hold up there Anonymous 1! In case you didn't notice, this blog is British! I'm British!

Point taken though – if British spine is restricted to our dwindling armed forces and a handful of bloggers then we're in trouble.

Ah well, the Green Card lottery application is in for another year…

Anonymous said...

Yes hear hear.... It truly is a sad day when we consider flogging a reasonable punishment..... Not to distant to that poor 19 yr old girl in Saudi who was gang raped by 7 men for having an affair and then sentenced to 200 lashes and 3 months in jail.... they truly are babaric...

Anonymous said...

I sympathize with all of the Brits who aren't buying into all of the PC crap. I never thought it would get as ridiculous as it has here in the U.S. but unfortunately it appears to be getting worse. The Islamists are getting what they wanted. Instead of blowing things up every other day they're just infiltrating and multiplying, taking over from within. God (not Allah) help us.

Anonymous said...

Things will change eventually. I have faith in the eternal goodness of God that resides in every person if he/she will let it out. I pray for those who are so "tight" with their mercy. I believe Selfishness is the root of all evil; not following the Golden Rule and thinking of others as you think of yourself.
I got here from LGF, but I got to LGF from a great little blog: Check it out.

I'm alice from Pittsburgh, PA

Bald Headed Geek said...

Britain is hopeless. The comments prove that. In fact, the U.K. goes out of its way NOT to make Muslims follow its laws.

More ominously, are we heading down the same path?


Anonymous said...

I seem to remember reading about Mohommadans advising each other to post on BBC boards etc. and to use western names.
I suspect that at least some of these comments are of this type.
Pretty much every person in britain I know is furious about the way this poor woman has been treated by these barbarians.

Harry Eagar said...

Well-argued, except the concession that the violent ones may be a minority.

In Sudan, the nuts run the government, and this is the case to a greater or lesser degree (mostly greater) in all the 50 or so Islamic states. In what sense can the governments of sovereign states be 'minorities'?

In those states where there are revolts against the government, the rebels are all even nuttier than the sitting governments. There is not now and never has been in history an example of a liberal Muslim revolt.

That oughta tell you somethin'.

Anonymous said...

I posted the following comment to the BBC story:

"A truly shocking number of contributors to this forum have exposed their empty brainpans with their multicult equivocation of Sharia and Common Law. Discernment and discrimination are virtues. Anyone fortunate enough to have lived in the west who practice these virtues in good faith will immediately see moral and intellectual bankruptcy in Sharia. Those suggesting that this woman deserves what she is receiving is either a fool or a liar and in either case undeserving of the liberty they enjoy."

I can't say I'm surprised it appears to have not made it past the moderators.

Anonymous said...

Well if you are a foreigner working in Colombia, ussualy for a big company as a qualified technician or the like, you know you are at high risk of being kidnaped. In any muslim zone you have ever the risk of incidents like this or worse, so enter at your own risk. And viceversa, any muslim here is a potential risk to our well being.

Anonymous said...

What happens when you find a cockroach in your home? You smash it under your shoe, then spray your home until your damn sure than every roach is dead. Then you spray again.

You sure as hell don't welcome that roach into your home, as well as it's entire fucking family.

It's get so bad that simply spraying your home won't do the job...eventually you'll have to raze your home to the ground. That's what's happening to western civilization right now with the muzbots. "Resistence is futile. Prepare to be assimilated."

Anonymous said...

I have a degree in Middle East Studies, which includes the religion of Islam. There is no law that says one cannot name someone or something after the Prophet. In fact, it is a tribute to the Prophet. The idea is that one must not worship said object or person. If there were a law forbidding naming someone/something after the Prophet, then what happens to all of the people named after him?
Also, the children chose the name for the bear. Shouldn't they also be punished if the teacher is punished? This is only happening because (1) she is not Muslim (so I assume) and (2) she is a foreigner, therefore she must be evil. (insert sarcasm here.)

Squander Two said...

I've blogged a response to this, if anyone's interested.

Anonymous said...

Oh, BTW, has anyone discussed the fact that Mohammed (and all the variations of the name) is the most popular male name in the world?